American Cockroaches vs German Cockroaches Differences | Bill's Home Service Company


American Cockroaches vs German Cockroaches: What’s the Difference?

At Bill’s Home Service, our goal is to help you understand which pests may invade your home and how to best handle them. Cockroaches are one of the most common types of pests we treat for Green Valley and Tucson homeowners. What most people don’t know is cockroach treatments differ depending on the species and there are two that are commonly found in Southern Arizona: The American cockroach and the German cockroach. Understanding the differences between them is the first step to effectively prevent infestation in your home.

Physical Characteristics

A distinguishing factor that sets German roaches apart are the two dark, almost parallel stripes starting behind their heads and running down their backs. They’re also smaller in size, measuring about 0.5 to 0.6 inches with a light brown to tan color. The American roach is larger, typically ranging from 1.5 to 2 inches in length with a reddish-brown color. American roaches have fully developed wings that cover the entire length of their abdomen whereas the wings of German cockroaches are shorter and do not fully cover their abdomen.

Behavioral Characteristics

American roaches prefer damp, dark areas like sewers, crawl spaces, and around sinks and toilets. German roaches thrive in warm and humid environments, commonly found in kitchens for the proximity to food, and around appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators. However, when both roaches grow in population, they can be found in various areas throughout the home.

Reproductive Characteristics

The different ways in which each species reproduces can significantly impact the treatment method used. American roaches reproduce at a slower rate. Their adult females can produce about 15 eggs every month; each egg needs six months or more to become adults. Adult German cockroach females can produce 30-40 eggs every six weeks; their eggs become adults in just 60 days. The rapid reproduction ability of German cockroaches can lead to a significant infestation in a very short time.

Cockroach Prevention

Regardless of the cockroach species you’re dealing with, being proactive can make a big difference. By eliminating food crumbs, preventing overnight dirty dishes, fixing leaks, and sealing entry points, your home will be less desirable for cockroaches.

Treatment Methods

Many improper, off-the-shelf pest treatments can increase the severity of an infestation. We recommend calling a licensed professional to evaluate the situation and treat it safely and effectively. American cockroaches can typically be eliminated with a one-time general pest control treatment by a licensed professional. If the infestation has been occurring for a while, an additional treatment may be necessary. German cockroaches, however, require deep cleaning and at least two specialized treatments designed to prevent young roaches from reaching adult reproductive stages. In case of severe infestations, multiple specialized treatments and monitoring will be required for a longer period to ensure all cockroaches are eliminated.

Bill’s Home Service, family-owned and operated since 1964, has been putting pests to rest for 60 years. We’re committed to providing homeowners with the knowledge and services needed for a pest-free living environment. For more information or to schedule a pest evaluation, contact us at (520) 277-2720 or visit